Tag Archives: J.D. Greear

Jesus, Continued by J.D. Greear

Jesus ContinuedGreear, J.D. Jesus, Continued…Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You. Nashville: Zondervan, 2014. 232 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Amazon or on Kindle for less.

Introduction

J.D. Greear is pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham which has been ranked by Outreach Magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in the U.S. I have reviewed one of his previous books, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, which I found to be extremely helpful.

Summary

Divided into three parts and sixteen chapters, Greear takes on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.  The first part deals with the reality that the Holy Spirit is usually missing in most evangelical discussions. He does discuss how this could be an overreaction to the Pentecostal/charismatic movement, but, need not be the case.

The second part is a frank and biblical discussion on how we are to experience the Holy Spirit. This part is the meat and potatoes of the book. Here we find that we experience the Holy Spirit in the gospel, the Bible, in our various giftings, in the church, in our own spirit and in our circumstances. It is this second part that the rubber meets the road when it comes to biblically understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The third part explains how we are to seek the Holy Spirit in our lives. Here, J.D. offers an apologetic against the charismatic ideas though he never really engages them directly.

Review

From the beginning, I was impressed that Greear, a Baptist, would engage this topic. There have not been many outside of the Pentecostal movement that have attempted to deal with this subject except to deride the excesses.  Greear was intentional about staying within the parameters of Scripture while not being too concerned with the evangelical tradition from which he comes.

What he ended up writing was a clear and concise systematic treatise on the Holy Spirit that is accessible to all and not just theologians. I did notice, however, that this work is a bit longer than most that are being published today. I found that interesting and welcoming at the same time.

One way I think this work would have been made stronger is if he had a recommended resource list somewhere in the book (except in his notes) for anyone looking to study a bit deeper on this subject.

Recommendation

If you are looking for an accessible and biblically-balanced perspective on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, J.D. Greear’s work is an excellent place to begin.  I recommend this to all Christians as well as those non-Christians looking for an understanding of who the Holy Spirit really is.

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear

Stop Asking JesusGreear.  J.D. Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure you are Saved.  Nashville: B&H Academic, 2013.  132 pp.  $12.99.  Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

J.D. Greear is the lead pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.  He has also written Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.  You can follow him on Twitter or check out his website where a study guide for this work can be downloaded for free.

Summary

At 128 pages and 8 chapters, this is a short and concise work that moves at a fairly quick pace.  The introduction by Paige Patterson quickly dispels the idea that J.D. is out to ruffle feathers for the sake of ruffling feathers.  Instead, J.D. shares how he was baptized four times and would have been baptized more all because he was never sure of his salvation.  Chapter two explains that God does want us to have assurance with chapter three offering the hope of Jesus taking our punishment for us.

Four and five look at what true belief and repentance really means while chapter six looks at the doctrine of eternal security and why the Bible warns against losing one’s salvation.  The work concludes with a couple chapters on how you can truly know you are saved of Christ.  The first way is to continue to honestly look at the fruit in your life.  Regardless, J.D. knows that many will struggle with doubt and finishes the book with a chapter on what that person should continue to do.

The two appendices look at the importance of baptism and assurance based upon justification by faith alone.

Review

Pastor Greear hits the nail squarely on the head in this work.  I love that Paige Patterson, an evangelist if there ever was one, wrote the foreward to this work and stated plainly that he “dislike[d] the title of this book” and then proceeds to explain why you need to read it.  J.D. offers extremely sound evidence from Scripture as to why it is not a matter of how we ask for forgiveness but that we have repented of our sin based upon the work of Christ on the cross.

I wish that B&H, as opposed to B&H Academic would have published this work for the reason that some may think it is above the “lay level” because of the academic tag.  Regardless, the fact that the Southern Baptist Convention’s printing arm has published this work is both encouraging and interesting.  It is the SBC, and many of the preachers/pastors therein, that have lead the charge of asking Jesus into your heart.  Gratefully, the conversation is now wide open for discussion and Pastor Greear has graciously set the boundaries between ignorant, though passionate, rhetoric and what the Bible clearly teaches on salvation and assurance.

Recommendation

I found much to love about this work.  As one who doubts his salvation more than I’d like to admit, there was much comfort in these pages.  For any who have called on Christ as Lord and Savior, I highly recommend this resource.  For any who are curious as to what the Bible does teach about salvation (i.e., the gospel) then I recommend this work to you as well.